Telecommunication giants, MTN and Vodafone have reportedly put in a bid for licenses to enter the Ethiopian telecoms market.
The entrance of the two telecom giants into the Ethiopian telecoms market was confirmed by Ethiopia’s Finance Ministry in a statement.
“At the close of auction on Monday, only three bids were left standing – MTN, the Vodafone consortium and partners CDC Group and Sumitomo Corporation,” noted the statement.
“The Ministry is delighted to have received the bids for the nationwide telecom service licenses from two giant telecom operators,” added the statement.
On Monday, the country’s communications regulator indicated awards of licence would be announced after the completion of technical and financial evaluations of documents submitted to authorities.
Meanwhile, the auction delayed and triggered contestation from some 12 parties, which submitted initial expressions of interest. The 12 included MTN, the Vodafone consortium, Orange, Etisalat and Saudi Telecom Company.
But the Ethiopian government explained it had to shift the deadline for the submission of bids twice because of Covid-19.
Reports indicate that Ethiopia has for the past two years been working on opening up the country’s communications market, with authorities repeatedly outlining their intent to attract international operator groups to compete with incumbent Ethio Telecom.
Ethiopia is said to have 50.1 million mobile connections at the end of the first quarter of 2021 according to estimations by GSMA. This is out of a total population of 112 million.